Numbers Game

Unchecked greed rises

stealthily overpowering, stealing dignity, stealing opportunity

until no one can outrun

the ever changing line of inequality

by Christina Lynn Lambert

IMG_0099

Keeping people sick, just on the edge of debt, all while dangling the possibility of health and hope in front of the very people who can no longer reach those possibilities is beyond cruel. But in American healthcare, it’s just the way business is done. Patients are numbers in the American healthcare equation. Many nurses and doctors do care greatly about their patients but as far as pharmaceutical companies are concerned, their clients are nothing but dollar signs. To health insurance companies, we’re all numbers, inconvenient ants to be silenced with codes and denials. With each year, drug prices grow higher and insurance companies deny more and more services because CEOs want their bonuses, shareholders want their profits. Politicians placate these monsters in exchange for money and power.

Some patients can afford the exorbitant cost of healthcare in America. Some people can pay several hundred dollars a month for a prescription, year after year after year, but many can’t. But that’s the patient’s problem, right? Drug companies, hospitals, insurance companies must tell themselves something like that to justify the fact that people die without medicine and care, that people die because they’re afraid to go into debt for an emergency room trip because of chest pain. People tell themselves that lump they felt might be nothing at all because they can’t take the chance of a nasty hospital bill that eats away their financial stability. Waiting is the strategy of choice because anything else could result in financial ruin.

A billing clerk at the front desk of the dentist loudly proclaims to the patient, “You want your broken tooth fixed? Pay now or take your problem out the door.”

The ER cashier says to the patient, “you want stitches? We’ll send you the bill. You’ll get it in two weeks. Better be prepared to pay a couple grand or sew your finger back on yourself.”

And they all say “Pay us or we’ll take everything you have. Pay us or we’ll ruin your credit, maybe even send you to jail- but only if you’re too poor to defend yourself in court. Pay us or we’ll garnish your wages or repossess your car. Pay us or we’ll take your house and have the repossession company throw all your stuff into your front yard so you can come collect it with a garbage bag while your neighbors watch.” So patients everywhere in America must open up a vein and feed the health insurance industry because a nation of prosperity has somehow allowed an industry to become so greedy and so dysfunctional that the price of medicine and healthcare and health insurance can throw the average american into massive debt.

Life saving medical procedures, medicine to manage symptoms, possible cures, the possibility of a long healthy life- it’s all just out of reach for so many. People can buy health insurance, which isn’t cheap, but that doesn’t mean much when the cost of care is still so high.

Life is supposed to be sacred, so all important, but what about the quality of our lives? That questions gets pushed under the rug because the answer is inconvenient. Profit before people. Profit before decency. Profit before dignity. Now, people must choose between food and medicine, between mortgage payments and medical care, because CEOs need to deliver big money to shareholders. Top tier drug and health insurance employees need their bonuses. Making patients a number in the game of shareholder profit kills patients, but what do the drug companies and health insurance companies care? To them, the patients are just numbers. Not real. Not worthy. Expendable.

And I have to wonder, how long before the bar is raised and the cost is driven higher until unchecked greed become an insatiable beast, eating everything in its path until finally, the CEOs, politicians, and shareholders have nobody left to oppress and steal from but each other?

 

A little taste of Babes in Bondage: Vegas Babes Book 5 by Lisabet Sarai.

It’s 9PM in Vegas. Do you know your safe word? For a steamy #bdsm #bondage #lgbtq read, check out Babes in Bondage: Vegas Babes Book 5 by Lisabet Sarai.

When an anti-porn terrorist group shuts down the Sin City Fetish Fair, Larry Archer offers The Fox’s Den as an alternative venue. Plans for the Den’s first Kink Night quickly take shape.

Virginal Patricia Hastings leads the Anti-Porn Brigade in their fight against filth. She’s determined to destroy the anything-but-vanilla strip club – if only she can resist her own secret craving for surrender.

BabesInBondageTeaser1

Excerpt:

“Lock ‘em up, lock ‘em up!”

The TV footage of the righteous crowd besieging the convention center entrance filled Patty with pride. This had to be one of C.R.A.P’s most successful actions ever. Police armed with shields held back the protesters, creating a gauntlet through which other officers escorted the attendees and vendors exiting the facility. Looking harried and scared, the perverts flinched away from the taunts and the occasional rotten vegetable as they scrambled toward buses waiting outside the perimeter. It served them right. Maybe the experience would make them change their ways.

Patty caught a glimpse of her father, standing with a mic on a flat bed truck, leading the chants. In his tailored suit and white Stetson hat, Senator Ernest B. Hastings was rugged and distinguished, a beacon of moral rectitude, a man with a mission. A pity his tactics were so old-fashioned.

The broadcast cut to the buxom anchorwoman, who gazed into the camera with feigned concern. “We’ve just learned that the Worldwide Pleasure and Lifestyle Exhibition will close this evening, two days ahead of schedule. There are rumors that the organizers plan to sue the city.”

“Whooee!” Jinx and Joey, her two lieutenants, crowed in unison. “We did it! We shut the pervs down.”

“We did indeed,” she answered. “I really appreciate your help, boys.” Jinx had hacked into the convention center management systems to pinpoint the location of the electrical control room. Joey had driven the motorcycle she’d used for her getaway. It had been Patty’s job, though, to infiltrate the building, find the transformers and plant the explosives.

It has been surprisingly easy. Amid the garish costumes and general lewdness of the Fair, nobody had thought twice about stopping a pretty blonde wearing a leather bikini, high heel boots and elbow-length satin gloves.

Her father believed demonstrations by committed citizens would stem the tide of twisted filth washing over America. Patty knew more radical action was needed.

She clicked off the news, then rose to her feet. “You’d better go. The banquet’s at seven, and I’m supposed to give the keynote. I’ve got to shower and get ready.”

Jinx unfolded his skinny limbs from the hotel room couch. He stuck a hand under his military-style fatigues to scratch his belly. “I’m beat,” he said. “Gonna get some shut-eye before the festivities. Unless of course you need s’more help…” His transparent leer made her skin crawl.

“Thanks, but no. You and Joey have done more than enough. See you tonight.”

“Okay, Miss Patty.” Joey scooped up the last two potato chips from the bowl in front of him and crammed them into his mouth, then lumbered after Jinx. “Congratulations.”

“Thanks.”

Patty closed the door behind them with a sigh of relief. She’d deliberately recruited guys who not only possessed the skills she needed, but who were also physically unattractive. She couldn’t afford to be distracted by any weakness of the flesh that might derail her plans. Furthermore, she had to maintain her image as the incorruptible virgin vice-president of Citizens Resisting.

Purchase Links

Kinky Literature – https://www.kinkyliterature.com/book/4255-babes-in-bondage-vegas-babes-book-5/

Amazon  US –  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZNSS576

Amazon UK –  https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZNSS576

Smashwords –  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/988144

Barnes and Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/babes-in-bondage-lisabet-sarai/1134430382?ean=2940163375479

Kobo –  https://www.kobo.com/th/en/ebook/babes-in-bondage-vegas-babes-book-5

Add on Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48643050-babes-in-bondage

About Lisabet

Lisabet Sarai became addicted to words at an early age. She began reading when she was four. She wrote her first story at five years old and her first poem at seven. Since then, she has written plays, tutorials, scholarly articles, marketing brochures, software specifications, self-help books, press releases, a five-hundred page dissertation, and lots of erotica and erotic romance – over one hundred titles, and counting, in nearly every sub-genre—paranormal, scifi, ménage, BDSM, GLBT, and more. Regardless of the genre, every one of her stories illustrates her motto: Imagination is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

You’ll find information and excerpts from all Lisabet’s books on her website (http://www.lisabetsarai.com/books.html), along with more than fifty free stories and lots more. At her blog Beyond Romance (http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com), she shares her philosophy and her news and hosts lots of other great authors. She’s also on Goodreads, Pinterest, and  Twitter. Join her VIP email list here: https://btn.ymlp.com/xgjjhmhugmgh

 

Hot Regency-era Romance- The Viscount’s Pet

From time to time, I’ll be sharing about new books from different authors.

Check out The Viscount’s Pet by author Kryssie Fortune.

When her brother tries to arrange a marriage with the detestable Baron Cosford, Julianna strikes out on her own, but her plan is disrupted by an unexpected encounter with Viscount Stonehurst.

Stonehurst is less than pleased to find a beautiful young woman travelling alone at night, but when he discovers her predicament will the handsome gentleman come to Juliana’s rescue?

theviscountspet_full[37103]

Enjoy a steamy excerpt of the Viscount’s Pet:

A single tear slipped through her defenses. She blinked and wiped it away. If he said another word, she’d shatter. Anger that he’d spanked and insulted her welled up inside her. She couldn’t decide which hurt more—her bruised ribs or her sore bottom.

Misery blocked her throat and dried her mouth. She’d probably deserved that spanking since her failure ten years ago cost Susanna her life. She’d blamed herself when she heard the French had killed Stonehurst. That her childhood scheme hadn’t sent him to his death was the only bright spot in her miserable evening.

As they rode, her brief spark of anger faded into despair. She never made a sound, but tears flowed down her cheeks.

“Damn it,” Stonehurst muttered under his breath, “don’t cry.”

Despite the balmy summer night, she couldn’t stop shivering. He tightened his arms, pulling her toward him. When he buried his face in her hair, she thought he inhaled in her favorite floral perfume. She hoped it pleased him. His citrus and herbal cologne certainly delighted her.

When he reached the rose garden, the musky scent of the flowers lingered, heady and intoxicating. Despite his wooden leg, he slid easily from the saddle and helped her dismount. His hands rested a few seconds too long on her waist. She relaxed and leaned toward him, but his severe expression condemned her. While her past actions deserved his scorn, it still crushed her.

As if he couldn’t stop himself, he tugged her against him. His mouth slammed against hers, claiming, dominating, and possessing. A soft moan flowed from her. When she nestled into his embrace, her heart told her she’d come home.

He tangled his hands in the loose strands of her hair and anchored her lips to his. As his tongue traced the seam between them, she opened for him. He tasted of fresh lemons and spearmint. His kiss was all-consuming and addictive, a sinful delight that flooded her soul with joy.

The longer he held her, the more she relaxed. Everything about him made her feel sheltered and safe. Deep down she knew it was an illusion. He’d already sided with her brother, and her ribs would suffer for it.

Confused by the feelings he roused in her breast, her grip on reality faded, and she responded with unexpected eagerness. Wrong or not, she’d savor this moment of pleasure. Something hot and sensual sizzled between them. Unable to resist, she slid her arms around his neck, and ran her foot up and down his right calf.

When he crushed her against his chest, the added intimacy made her heart pound and her knees weak. Only, given their past, they could never have a future.

#regency #romance #spanking #hot #KU #kindleunlimited

You can find Kryssie on social media at:

Blog            http://kryssiefortune.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter         https://twitter.com/KryssieFortune

Facebook    https://www.facebook.com/KryssieFortune

Pinterest      http://bit.ly/1OGFnjc

Goodreads     http://bit.ly/2kxqabJ

Amazon Author Page  http://amzn.to/2hA0ZVO

Buy links

Amazon USA

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon AU

 

OR READ FOR FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED

October Trick or Treat Extravaganza!

Discover new authors, read fun interviews, and enter for a chance to win lots of great prizes during October 2019 at author Cathy Brockman’s October Trick or Treat Extravaganza!

You can view my interview (I talk about my favorite sci fi and paranormal books and movies and share an awesome applesauce cake recipe) here: https://cathybrockman.com/?p=13823

And you can follow this link directly to the giveaway contest:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2da79bfb4/

Octoberfest Prizes

October Book Fair!

Technically, it’s Autumn in Virginia. The leaves are falling but air conditioners are still blasting. Pumpkin spice is available in every food and drink imaginable at practically every store and coffee shop. Fall clothes look amazing. In my closet. And in my closet the sweaters and boots will stay until the temperature drops below the 85 degree average.

No matter the weather, I’m still in the mood to bring out my Halloween decorations and watch scary movies. During my favorite month of the year, I’ll be posting about giveaways and book fairs as well as poems, book recommendations, short essays on whatever is bugging me, and more.

Don’t miss the October Book Fair online event sponsored by OTOHbooks and Unearthly Ever Afters. Click on the link below to head to the book fair full of free and discounted books. While you’re there, you can enter for a chance to win a $25 Amazon card! Good luck, have fun, and discover some exciting books to enjoy!

octbookfair